Breach of contract
is one of the most common business disputes
handled by our Chicago breach of contract attorneys
. Ordinarily, a party (whether it be a business, executive, entrepreneur or an individual) must perform pursuant to his or her business agreement
unless both parties to the business agreement consent to a change in contractual terms. Any deviation from the specific terms of the business agreement could be deemed a contractual breach. The breaching party is often liable for damages incurred by the non-breaching party. A breach of contract could occur in regards to a written contract or an oral contract. Intentional interference with contract
(intentionally damaging contractual relations of another) is a related breach of contact claim.
Several situations may give rise to a breach of contract claim. For example, a party to the business agreement may do something that violates a term of that business agreement; a party may refuse to perform its obligations under the contract (such as delivering product or making payment); or a party may act (or fail to act) such that it makes it impossible for the other party to perform under the terms of the contract.
In general, to prevail on a breach of contract claim the following criteria must be shown:
The existence of a valid business contract;
Knowledge of the business contract on the part of the defendant or that it was readily apparent to the defendant;
An intentional interference that causes a breach of the contract; and
Economic damages suffered by the non-breaching party as a result of the breach party’s business contract interference.
Most often, the fundamental issue in breach of contract dispute is ascertaining the intent of the parties, which is the court’s primary objective. The intent of the parties sets out the parties’ expectations to the business agreement, the extent of the parties’ duties and obligations, how the parties have allocated the risks of the transaction, and what the consequences of the breach of contract will be. Learning the true intent of the parties, as understood by the parties involved, is generally reflected by the four corners of the business agreement. Thus, it’s crucially important to always have a well written business agreement in place that properly reflects the business transaction and the parties’ duties and responsibilities.